The sweltering summer of Delhi makes ‘monsoon’ the most awaited and desired season of the year. Those little drops of happiness from heaven feel like pure bliss. However, the pitter-patter of the rain also brings along a host of seasonal ailments. But this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the season. From drizzle to downpour and everything in between, a little precaution can help you ditch the aliments and enjoy the magnificence of monsoon.
The cases of malaria, dengue and chikungunya also rise up due to stagnant rain water. “Keep an effective mosquito repellent, and use anti-mosquito lotions, sprays and wrist-bands,” suggests Dr D.S. Chadha, associate director, internal medicine, Fortis hospital, Vasant Kunj. Experts suggest to get a blood test done if one has fever. “Many of these illnesses mimic each other during the early stages. So do not go into self medication,” suggests Dr Sinha. Conjunctivitis is a common problem during monsoon. “Splashing the eyes with ice cold water will help soothe the itching. Do not buy antibiotics and steroids without consulting your doctor,” says Dr Rajeev Jain, director, Save sight centre, New Delhi. Monsoon also opens floodgates of viral infections such as common cold, flu, and throat and chest infection, it’s important to take precautionary measures.
‘Leptospirosis’ is one infection many are not aware of. It is usually caused by walking in the stagnant rain water that has been infected by rats. “If you have a skin abrasion and you walk in the dirty water, there are high chances of getting it. The symptoms are high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and abdomen pain. If not treated in time, it can lead to kidney and liver problems and can be fatal also,” warns Chadha. This apart, high humidity makes the skin oily, and can trigger acne.
“Follow a proper cleansing-toning-moisturising-sunscreen routine before stepping out. Make sure you re-apply the moisturiser after a wet stint in the rain,” suggests Disha Meher, skin and nail expert, Lakme salon. Facial scrubs also help to keep pores unclogged, leaving the skin clear and bright. “Ground almonds or rice powder mixed with yogurt and a pinch of turmeric make for a great scrub,” suggests beauty expert Shahnaz Husain.
The season has a stormy effect on hair, making it dull and frizzy. The pores of the scalp become blocked with oil and sweat secretions. Growth of fungus and bacteria on the scalp might also occur. These infections are responsible for irritation, dandruff and hair fall.
“When our hair is wet, they get into vulnerable situation and can break easily. So detangle them with a wide tooth comb. For dandruff, use a shampoo that has menthol (revitalises the hair), zinc pyrithione (fights fungus) and lemongrass (controls itching),” advises Jacqueline King, hair expert, Lakme salon. Massaging your scalp with oil can help improve blood circulation, tone the scalp and fortify the hair.
High humidity levels make body’s digestive ability to reduce so avoid heavy food even at home. “Acidic and sour food like pickles, chutneys, chilies, yogurt, curry, etc. and salty food promote water retention, indigestion, hyperacidity and bloating. Also, avoid deep fried foods, junk food and meat,” says Dr Partap Chauhan, director, Jiva Ayurveda.
Leafy vegetables should also be avoided in monsoons. “These are a favourite place for insects to nest in their eggs; specially cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower,” says Sonia Narang, nutrition expert, Oriflame India. Homemade soups make for a perfect comfort food for monsoon. “Spike your soup with ginger, garlic, peppers and turmeric powder,” suggests Narang.